As you sit on your exercise mat, sunlight dances on the water drawing your eye and calming the mind. Trees rise up, lifting your gaze to look out towards the mountains. Birds sing to one another all around, as a gentle breeze cools the forehead. Tension melts away, revitalising energy flows in. You are experiencing Green Health Yoga at the Sanctuary at Roche Caiman, Mahe.Green Health Yoga sessions combine the fantastic feel good benefits of yoga such as relaxation, increasing flexibility and strength, with those of nature, such as de-stressing, increasing confidence and self esteem, reducing depression and anxiety. And all of this is just a 5-minute drive from Victoria, 2 from Eden Island.
The concept of Green Health Yoga, developed by Nature Seychelles, draws on the growing scientific evidence of the health benefits people can gain from nature, combined with the established health benefits of exercise. Studies are
extensive - they cover physiological and physical benefits to motivational and even preventative medicine. All add up to a healthier society and a better quality of life.
To deliver the amazing sessions takes a very specialised skill set. Robin Hanson, who has 18 years of experience practicing yoga and meditation, and 8 as a teacher (following a 4 year diploma) delivers the sessions. He is also a seasoned Conservation Biologist and looks after the Sanctuary at Roche Caiman, the venue of the classes
“This is not your average yoga class venue but then again these are not your average yoga sessions,” explains Robin. “In keeping the classes small, we keep them personal and friendly. It allows me to give time to everyone, helping them develop a unique practice which makes them feel great!”
The classes vary: there's the chill out Monday morning session, which is a gentle calming session to increase flexibility and strength. Monday evening classes help people to relax, unwind, and let go as well as energise and revitalise. Wednesday mornings are for getting sweaty with an aerobic pace, and the evenings, for deepening one's practice. Thursday evening sessions are inspired by nature and are energising and cleansing, and on Friday morning you can fire up muscles with a good workout and stretch.
“The more sessions we do the more diverse and numerous the requests for new sessions are,” says Robin .
What can be really nice after a class is to have a wander around the organic Heritage Garden adjacent to the Sanctuary, and grab some goodies to make a yummy nutrient packed healthy meal. If you come a little earlier, you can wander around the nature reserve.
Participants walk out of the sessions feeling fantastic from the class but also from knowing that they are directly supporting Nature Seychelles' other environmental work.
If you like the sound of all this, get in touch with Robin at Nature Seychelles. He is always happy to help.